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A Brief History and Current Projects

In the early 1990’s, the Society of American Florists (SAF) and the American Nursery and Landscape Association (now AmericanHort), sought support of Congress to allocate dedicated funding for floral and nursery research. In 1996, Congress agreed to begin funding the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative (FNRI) and the Agriculture Research Service (ARS) has managed projects and funding. Funding is split between floral and nursery projects with funding allocated to university and ARS projects. Projects that receive funding are based, to a large extent, on industry recommendations. SAF provided governmental support by interacting with Congress and, with grower input, made recommendations for projects of greatest need to the floral industry. FNRI is designed to support longer-term and more in-depth projects than the industry can fund.

SAF asked the American Floral Endowment in 2019 to oversee FNRI projects and to recommend projects for funding. Today, AFE works with the Agriculture Service on projects related to the floral industry. Most projects are funded for 3 – 5 years. SAF is working with Congress to ensure continued funding and to increase funding when possible.  

The projects currently funded for the floriculture industry through FNRI are:

Principal Investigator and Title

New Plants

  • Pablo Jourdan, The Ohio State University and James Altland, ARS Wooster, OH
    • Germplasm resources for the floriculture and nursery industry at the Ornamental Plant Germplasm Center (OPGC)


  • Thomas Colquhuon, University of Florida and Joe Patt, ARS Fort Pierce, FL
    • New agreement FY2020
  • Anna Whitfield, North Carolina State University and Jeff Adkins, ARS Fort Pierce, FL
    • Development of a Novel Control Strategy for Thrips and Tospoviruses in Floral Crops


  • Michelle Jones, The Ohio State University and James Altland, ARS Wooster, OH
    • New agreement FY2020

 Greenhouse and Container Production Technology

  • Christian Nansen, UC Davis and Dan Kluepfel, ARS Davis, CA
    • Advancing Pest Management in Floriculture Crops Through Applications of Innovative Technologies
  • Jim Faust, Clemson University and James Altland, ARS Wooster, OH
    • Optimizing Water Use in Floriculture Crops
  • Eric Runkle and Roberto Lopez, Michigan State University and James Altland, ARS Wooster, OH
    • Using Lighting Technologies and Genetics to Improve Growth and Flowering of Floriculture Crops
  • Paul Fisher, University of Florida and James Altland, ARS Wooster, OH Resource
    • Efficiency in the Floriculture Production and Value Chain
  • John Erwin, University of Maryland and James Altland, ARS Wooster, OH
    • New agreement FY2020